Patient engagement faces as many barriers as actually getting patients enrolled in your clinical trial, yet surprisingly few clinical research organizations are taking steps to tackle it. At Citruslabs, we believe Patient Engagement is a vital part of the clinical trial process and take active steps to keep participants involved throughout the process.
We think the most important part of patient engagement is creating trials that are accessible for everyone, which is part of why we are proud to be a virtual CRO. Offering fully or somewhat decentralized trials goes a long way in breaking down the barriers of finance and geography, and enables more people to participate in your research.
Other steps you can take to be thoughtful in your patient engagement approach include:
1. Using Plain Language.
We often write our own protocols and consent forms when taking on new clinical trials, and we make every effort to reduce jargon and explain the clinical process in a simple, comprehensible way. We aren’t here to make things “sound fancy”, we’re here to ensure people feel confident joining your trial knowing exactly what is being asked of them.
2. Encourage Feedback.
We like to invite participants and customers alike to let us know how we’re doing at every stage in the clinical research process, as this is the only way we can understand patients’ perspectives without our own biases clouding things. Encouraging participants to share their experiences with you online in forums, on social media, and by word of mouth also helps to expose more people to clinical trial opportunities that might have never otherwise heard of your research.
Improve Diversity of Recruitment
It’s no secret that people of white, European descent are often overrepresented in clinical trials. As a result, many participants that don’t fit this description are not aware of the opportunities available to them or are less comfortable engaging with clinical research.
It is vital to encourage diversity in your participants by engaging with minority communities and investing in targeted outreach.
1. Meet people halfway.
Bring your clinical expertise to places where minority groups are seeking healthcare, and allow physicians in these areas to promote the opportunities these groups often get overlooked for. Work with patients that are often marginalized to create communication and content that they know others in their communities will respond to.
2. Increase the Diversity of your research team.
Perhaps the biggest step you can take to thoughtfully improving patient engagement is to include people of all backgrounds and communities on your actual research team. This inclusion and communication will positively shape your approach to clinical research and will ensure your research team is trustworthy and relatable to a wider audience.
If you’d like to learn more about how we approach engagement:
Citruslabs provides a simple and affordable way to prove that your products actually work. At Citruslabs, we design a clinical trial that is right for you and your budget, so that you can start sharing research-backed product claims without spending a fortune. We offer the cohesive planning and management required to conduct successful clinical trials, from start to finish. Ready to get started? Let's talk! You can contact us here.